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Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids are lumps or growths, made up of muscle cells and other tissues that grow within the myometrium (body) of the uterus. Although fibroids are sometimes called tumours, they are almost always benign. Fibroids be a single growth or in clusters (groups). Their size can vary from small, like an apple seed to even larger than a grapefruit. They usually grow in size very slowly, usually over a few years.

Mr Colin Davis - Fibroids Specialist London

What is the incidence of Uterine Fibroids?

Fibroids are one of the most common gynaecological conditions. Almost 20% of all women under 50 years old are thought to have fibroids and they are more commonly diagnosed around the age of 40. Afro-Caribbean women origin are 2-3 times more likely to present with symptomatic fibroids and typically will do so at a younger age than the rest of the population of women with uterine fibroids.

What are the most common sites of fibroids on the womb (uterus)?

Fibroids are named depending upon their position in the uterus. Most of the fibroids grow only within the muscle (myometrium) of the uterus (Intramural fibroids). They increase the overall blood flow to the uterus. Some can grow inwards into the uterine cavity (Submucosal fibroids). These are the least common (5% of all fibroids) and they are the type most likely to cause fertility problems. Finally the fibroids that grow outwards from the uterus protruding are called Subserosal fibroids.

What are the causes of Uterine Fibroids?

There is no known cause for fibroid formation. The female hormone oestrogen, stimulates their growth. Fibroids do stop growing and shrink after the menopause, but they also increase in size during pregnancy while the production of the oestrogen is very high. Fibroids are more likely to develop if you have a family history of this condition.

What are the symptoms of Uterine Fibroids?

The majority of fibroids are small and do not cause any symptoms. The symptoms are related to the number, size, and location of the fibroids, and fall into three main groups: Increased bleeding during periods (heavy periods) and can cause anaemia. Pelvic pressure, discomfort, bloating and pain, with larger fibroids causing pressure on the bladder, giving increased urinary symptoms (e.g. frequency), or on the rectum (bowel), causing constipation, as well as pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia). Problems related to pregnancy (early miscarriages, premature labour and obstructed labour) and infertility (when they are distorting the womb's cavity).

How are Uterine Fibroids diagnosed?

Fibroids are diagnosed by coincidence during pelvic examination and ultrasound scan. Sometimes the fibroids are identified during laparoscopy (operation during which we look into the belly with a small telescope) or hysteroscopy (operation during which we look into the uterine cavity with a fine telescope).

Surgical treatment

Conservative surgery is important for younger women to enhance and preserve fertility. Trans-cervical resection of submucous fibroids is a hysteroscopic procedure to remove fibroids which project into the uterine cavity. Myomectomy is the main procedure whereby fibroids are removed. This can be done by laparoscopy as long as the fibroids are not too big. In other cases it may be necessary to perform abdominal myomectomy through transverse "bikini-line" incision. Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is only offered as a last resort unless the woman has completed her family and the fibroids are very big.

Uterine artery embolisation

This is another option to treat uterine fibroids treatment and involves an Interventional Radiologist passing a very thin catheter into the groin blood vessels and guiding it towards one of the arteries leading to the fibroid. The small artery (which provides the fibroid with blood) is then blocked off which leads to the shrinkage of the targeted fibroid.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

Make Appointment/Enquiry

For all further information, if you have questions or to discuss treatment please contact Mr Colin Davis on:

Telephone : 020 7034 5000 Fax:020 7034 5080 Email: secretary@gsc.uk.com

From the first consulation with Mr. Davis | immediately felt confident in his abilities and expertise. He explained everything | needed to know about endometriois and PCOS so that we could make decisions to fix the problems and avoid fertillty issues...